Campaigns starting to heat up

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Things just got real interesting in the race for the 6th Congressional District. The Working Families Party (WFP) is throwing its support behind Assemblymember Rory Lancman.

The Congressional primary day on June 26 promises to be one where you will see the tumbleweeds blowing through the voting booths. The low turnout means the advantage goes to the person with the best “get-out-the-vote operations,” and the WFP is sure to give Lancman a nice boost here.

So why Lancman, since Grace Meng and Elizabeth Crowley both are also pro-labor? Working Families Party chief Dan Cantor says, “The candidates all represented themselves well, but Lancman clearly had the most passion and knowledge on the issues that are important to us. A combination of his record in Albany and his clear passion for what we’ll call ‘the issues of the 99%’ captured the day.”

It is noteworthy that the WFP decided to buck the choice of the Queens Democratic establishment, which is backing Meng.

Former Mayor Ed Koch interviewed all three Democratic candidates, and decided to endorse Lancman. It was the Koch endorsement of Republican Bob Turner in the 9th Congressional in Queens and Brooklyn that helped Turner get elected. Could we see a similar battle this time around? Stay tuned. Will it be more fun if Koch really gets involved? Undoubtedly! The 6th Congressional may not even be the most dramatic race. State Senator Adriano Espaillat is challenging legendary Congressmember Charlie Rangel in his newly redrawn 13th Congressional, that will now include a whole lot more of the Bronx and Washington Heights. And it is now a majority Latino district, some 55 percent, which could spell trouble for Rangel. If elected, Espaillat would be the first Dominican-American elected to the Congress.

Things also got real interesting in the race for comptroller. John Liu will be feeling the heat. He has not said whether he will be running for re-election. But Councilmember Dan Garodnick is not waiting. The 39-year-old who represents the Upper East Side of Manhattan says he will run for the Democratic nomination for comptroller, regardless of what Liu does.

“I will be the no-drama candidate,” says Garodnick, who is said to have raised some one million dollars already. It’s fund-raising that has landed Liu in the middle of a federal investigation, and led to the arrest of his campaign treasurer on fraud charges.

Garodnick indicates that’s a potential campaign issue. “This office needs a reset. There is a cloud over the office. All the audits are viewed in a political lens.”

Another potential candidate: Councilmember Domenic Recchia of Brooklyn. And if others sense blood in the water, you can bet the field will grow larger.

But what about Liu himself? He supposedly is still thinking about running for mayor. Given the investigation, that might be wishful thinking.